There are pools, and then there are these wondrous water-filled marvels, paragons of luxury that leave no expense spared in the creation of personal paradises for some of the country’s richest and most famous. Imagine a pool inlaid with 24-karat gold, an indoor swimming pool patterned after the glorious bathhouses of ancient Rome or a $1 million backyard pool complete with a 15-foot waterslide. These are just a few of the extraordinary extravagances you’ll find on our ranking of the 10 most lavish private pools in the United States. From the most privileged neighborhoods of Palm Beach and Beverly Hills to the rural panoramas of Lake Tahoe and the San Juan Mountains, this presentation of pools will take you around the nation to admire some of swankiest swimming holes the world has ever seen.
1. Kitchukov Family Pool
The nation’s “poshest private pool” according to the Travel Channel, the Kitchukov Family Pool earns that title with $1 million worth of lavish features such as fountains, a waterfall grotto and a 15-foot waterslide. An oasis in the desert of Gilbert, Arizona, the pool took construction company Red Rock Contractors five months to complete, and is approximately 10 times the size of the average backyard swimming pool. A lush landscape of greenery, Cadillac-sized boulders and two palm trees trucked in from California surround this most expensive of American swimming holes. Pool-goers who find their fingertips getting a bit wrinkly can hop out of the water and head on over to the skatepark or the putting green that are also located in the Kitchukov backyard, or relax on the gazebo with drinks and snacks freshly prepared in one of the family’s two outdoor kitchens. This personal paradise is a dream come true for Marian and Anthony Kitchukov, who left Communist Bulgaria two decades ago and found success starting a plumbing business that became one of the largest in the United States.
2. Hearst Castle
Once the home of 20th-century newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, Hearst Castle is now a national landmark and a California historic park. The palatial property was designed by architect Julia Morgan, famous in her own right as the first woman to attend the elite architecture program at L’ École des Beaux-arts in Paris, and as the first licensed female architect in the state of California. Among the mansion’s most outstanding features are the Roman Pool and the Neptune Pool.
The Roman Pool was designed to mirror the magnificent public bathhouses of the ancient Roman Empire, in particular the legendary Baths of Caracella, commissioned in the 3rd century by the emperor of the same name. Like the tepidarium of a Roman bathhouse, this indoor pool is heated. Glimmering mosaic tiles of blue, orange and gold depict Roman gods, goddesses and heroes, while eight copies of Greco-Roman sculpture stand watch along the poolside.
The Neptune Pool, which took over a decade to construct, is decorated with Vermont marble colonnades and 17th century Italian base reliefs. A classically styled temple overlooks the pool, with statues representing Neptune and the Nereids adorning the temple pediment. Other unique amenities of the Neptune Pool include its oil-burning heating system.
3. Acqua Liana
Located in Manalapan, Florida, Acqua Liana is an eco-certified luxury property designed by real estate artist Frank McKinney. The mansion gets its name from the Tahitian and Fijan word for “water flower,” a nod to the predominance of water features in the property design. Acqua Liana’s main pool acts as the mansion’s focal point, welcomingly located at the property’s center between the main house, the guesthouse and the cocktail bale’. A floating sun terrace, underwater windows and LED lights add an aura of exotic enchantment to this Polynesian-themed swimming spot. As with all of Acqua Liana’s water features, the main pool uses no chemicals. Instead, ultra-violet ionizing filters keep the waters sparklingly clear and clean. Acqua Liana’s other water features include a 16-person hot tub with a central fire feature for warmth, a children’s reflecting pool and the home’s breathtaking entryway, where a clear starfire glass floor reveals the moving water beneath it.
4. Spelling Manor
Built in the style of a French chateau, Spelling Manor once belonged to television producer Aaron Spelling, hence its name. The property most recently made the news when Spelling’s widow, Candy Spelling, listed the property for $150 million, making it the most expensive piece of real estate in America at the time. Mrs. Spelling has claimed that she has never counted the rooms in the manor, though the number is estimated at over 120, including rooms just for gift-wrapping and silver storage. Nowadays, British heiress Petra Ecclestone enjoys the property’s prodigious luxuries and amenities, including its lavish swimming pool. The supersized swimming hole comes complete with a pool house and meticulously manicured surroundings.
5. Fleur De Lys, Beverly Hills
Fleur de Lys in Beverly Hills was patterned after that veritable icon of opulence and extravagance, the palace at Versailles. Built of French limestone, the 45,000-square-foot mansion is nestled amidst ornamental gardens, luscious green lawns and stately trees. When listed for sale in 2007 by billionaire divorcee Suzanne Saperstein, Fleur de Lys was ranked by Forbes as the world’s most expensive estate. Today, pop diva Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon call this mansion home. Among Fleur de Lys many luxuries, its 70-foot swimming pool is surely a standout. Gleaming white steps lead up to the sparking blue waters, while classically styled colonnades cast their shadows over the poolside. A statue of a lion at rest watches regally as guests relax in one of the many umbrella-covered lounge along the pool’s edges. As if that wasn’t enough, the setting comes complete with two columned pool houses, one housing a kitchen and the other an exercise room. All in all, it’s a private pool that would make Louis XIV proud.
6. Bootjack Ranch
The Wild West goes luxurious at Bootjack Ranch, a sprawling 3,500-acre ranch located in the southern San Juan Mountains near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Texas energy billionaire Kelcy Warren owns this impressive residence, which has also hosted Music in the Mountains concert events. While the property encompasses natural water features including numerous streams and six lakes, guests are probably more likely to take a dip in the Olympic-sized pool at Bootjack Ranch’s 12,000-square-foot spa and aquatic center, arguably the ranch’s most opulent feature. While the overall vibe at Bootjack is rustic, with classic Western-style buildings made of log, timber and stone, the aquatic center is actually plenty luxurious, and would seem right at home in any of the world’s most lavish resorts.
7. Versace Mansion
Once owned by legendary Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, Versace Mansion is now an upper-echelon hotel operating under the name of The Villa by Barton G. Tragically, Versace was fatally shot here by a serial killer in 1997, but the couturier’s eye for beauty lives on in his former’s home tastefully luxurious design. This Mediterranean-style masterpiece features marble floors, shimmering mosaics and perfectly landscaped gardens. The hotel’s 10 suites are each distinctively decorated in a different exotic style, such as Persian or Baroque Italian. Each room in the mansion is breathtakingly beautiful, but it is Versace’s pool that has always most captured the public imagination – and astounded guests lucky enough to see it. The 54-foot-long pool is inlaid with 24-karat fold, giving the waters an enchanting golden glow. Housed within a private courtyard complete with palm trees, sculptures, and mosaic walkways, the stunning swim spot also features elegant columns and gorgeous blue-and-white tiling worthy of the original owner’s Italian background.
Located in Nevada, on the tax-free side of Lake Tahoe, Tranquility is a $100 million dollar property with eight buildings and 210 acres of breathtaking vistas. Tranquility was built for Joel Horowitz, co-founder of the Tommy Hilfiger fashion label. The property is situated besides its own private lake, but for those swimmers who prefer to splash around in a private pool, this luxury home doesn’t disappoint. Adjoined to the property’s conservatory is a generously sized pool with a glass mosaic floor. Designed with a classy all-white color scheme, the indoor pool’s vaulted ceiling, arched doorways, columned walls and wrought-iron windows along each wall give it a look of tasteful opulence. After a swim, guests can enjoy the poolside bar or massage room, or lounge in plush chaises while enjoying a view of the property’s gorgeous, tree-filled surroundings.
9. 32852 Pacific Coast Highway
A gated property in one of sunny Malibu’s most prestigious neighborhoods, 32852 Pacific Coast Highway features a number of architectural beauties and luxury-living amenities, not the least of which is its oasis-like pool and spa. Just steps away from both the house and the beach, the property’s infinity pool includes paved surroundings perfect for sunbathing.
10. Casa sin Nombre, Palm Beach
The luxury compound known as Casa Sin Nombre once belonged to billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist John Kluge, who in his time was named by Forbes’ Magazine as the world’s wealthiest individual. The Mediterranean Revival-style home is located in the heart Palm Beach’s estate center and is considered one of the area’s most iconic properties. Kluge ultimately donated Casa sin Nombre to Columbia University, his alma mater, with the sales of the property to be dedicated toward student scholarships. While the property’s amenities are numerous and impressive, one of its most eye-catching features is the reflecting pool, a sparkling jewel set against lusciously landscaped greenery.